19th Dhaka Int’l Film Festival begins
The 19th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) began yesterday, with the screening of Suzanne Lindon-directed French film "Spring Blossom." The inaugural ceremony of the event was held at the Main Auditorium of the Bangladesh National Museum.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen inaugurated the event as chief guest. Indian high commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami was present as special guest and festival patron M Hamid was present as guest at the programme, which was presided over by Liberation War Museum trustee Mofidul Hoque. Festival director of Dhaka International Film Festival Ahmed Muztaba Zamal presented the keynote speech.
The guests and audience observed one minute silence in memory of the filmmakers and intellectuals who died of Covid-19.
"Dhaka International Film Festival is a flagship event in the domain of films. I am happy to see that the festival is becoming a high platform gradually. This is a great event for gathering and presenting creative minds in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through this event people will know and learn about culture, society, tradition and beliefs of other countries," said Abdul Momen.
The organisers are screening films in different venues in the capital, including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Star Cineplex, Bangladesh National Museum, Sufia Kamal National Public Library and others. The new segments of the festival 'Legendary Leaders Who Changed The World' and 'Tribute' will take the event to new heights. Eight Bangladeshi full length feature films will be screened at the festival. Braving challenges of the pandemic, the organisers have made both physical and virtual arrangements.
Besides, Bangladesh Shilpkala Academy dance artistes and performers from the dance troupe Spandan presented dance recitals at the inaugural ceremony. This year, 225 films from 73 countries will be screened at the festival. Some films will be screened on the streaming platform, Lagvelki.
The films are being screened under the segments Asian Cinema Competition Section, Legendary Leaders who Changed the World, Tribute, Retrospective, Bangladesh Panorama Showcase, Cinema of the World Section, Children Films Section, Women, Filmmakers Section, Short and Independent Films Section and Spiritual Films Section.
The DIFF also features ancillary events such as the Seventh Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2021 today and tomorrow, and West Meets East on January 19, among others.
The jury for Asian Film Competition Section includes art and film critic Moinuddin Khaled, actress Rokeya Prachy and actor Ferdous Ahmed. Interfaith jury for Spiritual Films Section comprises Bulbul Augustine Rebeiro, actor Bonna Mirza and filmmaker Chaitali Somadder.
The jury for Women Filmmakers Section includes actors Wahida Mollick Jolly and Arifa Parvin Zaman Moushami and assistant professor Shahanara F Chowdhury.
The FIPRESCI Jury – cultural activist A M Mamunur Rashid, film critic and journalist Ershad Komal Khan and film critic, screenwriter and journalist Sadia Khalid – will select the best film in Bangladesh Panorama Showcase featuring eight films.
Rainbow Film Society has been organising the festival since 1992 with the theme, 'Better film, better audience, better society.' The DIFF will end on January 24, 2021.